Here’s a look at how the Braves and the Phils ranked in offensive production by position in the infield and at catcher in the NL in ’07, using OPS as the measure:


POS

ATL

PHI
C 2 5
1B 14 3
2B 2 1
3B 3 16
SS 3 2

Both teams had a huge hole, the Phils at third and the Braves at first. The Braves look to have solved their problem at first base with the addition of Mark Teixeira. Scott Thorman got the most time at first for Atlanta in ’07 and hit 216/258/394 on the season. In Teixeira’s 208 at-bats with the Braves he hit 317/404/615. Between his time with the Rangers and the Braves, Teixeira’s line on the season was 306/400/563. A .963 OPS from their first baseman would have been second-best in the NL last season, behind only the Brewers.

Unless Eric Bruntlett slips into a Abraham Nunez-like role, the Phillies seem sure to get more offense out of third this season than they did last. The Nunez departure helps a lot, Helms was as bad as he could be in ’07 and Dobbs had curiously very weak offensive numbers while playing third base compared to the rest of his offensive output. Still, the Atlanta solution is a little meatier.

Atlanta does seem sure to drop off at short in ’08, where they have lost Renteria and his 332/390/470 line. Yunel Escobar probably isn’t going to repeat his 326/385/451 line in ’08. Let’s hope not at least.

Where the Braves can’t hang with the Phillies is in the outfield.


POS

ATL

PHI
LF 11 3
CF 12 1
RF 11 8

Andruw Jones had a miserable year in ’07, but the production the Braves get out of center field seems sure to go down if they go ahead with Josh Anderson as the every day guy. I really have a lot of trouble believing that will happen, but it’s good news for the Phils if it does.

Despite hitting 338/368/497 in ’07, Matt Diaz only got about as much time in left as Willie Harris (270/349/392) this season. Harris is gone and more time for Diaz in left and less for Harris and Ryan Langerhans may mean more offense out of left for the Braves in ’08.